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COVID-19 changed the workplace fast – but did it change it for good? With most businesses coming up on nine months of changed workplace dynamics, it seems likely that some trends have become the new way of doing things.  

Here are some things that are likely to become more long-term. 

More remote or hybrid work:

COVID-19 necessitated the move to remote work for many businesses. Over the past 9 months or so, remote work has proven to be a successful way to continue being productive. Many organizations were able to tackle the collaboration and connectivity challenges that come along with dispersed teams. In light of this, it’s likely that more companies will keep remote work as an option, or move to a hybrid schedule of some workers being in the office some days and the other half the rest of the days, as a rotating schedule could allow for more space between employees.  

Different workspace configurations:

First, there were cubicles. Then there were open offices. What’s best to keep employees healthy in a post-pandemic world? The truth is that it will likely be some combination of both – open flexible workspaces that allow for distances as well as areas with cubicle style partitions to offer more protection in group settings.  

Increased flexibility of schedules:

While flex schedules were already becoming more mainstream, 2020 has proved once and for all that a daily 9-5 schedule isn’t what actually gets the work done. With parents having to configure their days around at-home schooling or other arrangements, businesses saw that productivity was still possible in non-traditional schedules.  

Cross-training:

Businesses quickly learned the need to be agile in 2020. Most teams were impacted by the pandemic in some way, whether it was organization restructuring or illness related. Managers and others in leadership immediately noticed how a lack of cross-training in departments and teams left their staff with skill and knowledge gaps. Going forward, HR groups, learning and development leaders, and managers will need to prioritize the cross-sharing of knowledge and process know-how. It will also be important to keep employee skills up to date to handle technology changes and environmental changes; many people who suddenly had to work from home had a steep learning curve that could have been avoided with proactive L&D initiatives.  

 No matter what changes your organization has faced in 2020, the new year is an opportunity to apply what’s been learned and continue to grow and evolve. If you’re looking for resilient, talented team members, get in touch with our staffing experts today.  

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